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Atlantic City mayor lauds anti-violence program after week that saw four shot

Atlantic City’s mayor lauded his anti-violence initiative Tuesday, saying no one has died by gun violence in more than two months.
But that may not be a clear picture of what’s going on in the city.
In addition to ignoring at least one August killing, the mayor’s comment also seems to gloss over a spate of shootings that saw eight people wounded in two months, including three teenagers.
September ended with four people shot in a week.
Even that isn’t the full story, say residents who tell BreakingAC those shootings were only the ones where someone was struck.
Shots have rung out multiple times with no reported injuries, and no information from police, witnesses claim.
Officials did not return requests for comment.
Fatal shootings were the focus of Mayor Marty Small’s claim at a mayoral debate Tuesday night .
“There hasn’t been — knock on wood — a death in Atlantic City due to gun violence since Father’s Day,” Small told a group gathered at Uptown Complex . “And that’s because of my anti-violence program under the leadership of Floyd Tally that is working with the people from Back Maryland and Stanley Holmes Village.”
Small did not respond when BreakingAC reached out to ask about Juan Matute-Figueroa, the 42-year-old resident who was fatally shot around 3 a.m. Aug. 1.
The alleged gunman was recently arrested in Puerto Rico.
Small has talked a lot about finding ways to stem violence.
Last November, he announced several plans, including One Neighborhood Evolution. The group consists of men from the city who may have had criminal pasts themselves, but are now looking to act as “interveners” to help solve street disputes peacefully.
“These are people who have history in the street,” Small explained at the time. “However, they’re fully rehabilitated and ready to help the city they once helped to destroy.”
When BreakingAC asked for a list of those city employees in June, there were four names: Vincent McDaniel, Arrod Moore, Craig Newsome and Isaiah Toulson.
All had been hired earlier this year, except McDaniel, who has worked for the city since Dec. 5, 2011, according to the response.
Tally, who also goes by the name Talib-Diyn Abdullah, was not listed, even though it was his leadership Small credited Tuesday night.
The mayor’s comment focused on deadly gun violence.
But one man recently arrested in a gun case is also charged with attempted murder in a stabbing three days earlier that was never made public.
Hassan Muhammad and two others allegedly chased a man down Atlantic Avenue near the Renaissance Plaza in broad daylight Aug. 17.
Video surveillance of the area shows Muhammad get ahead of the victim and then stab him under his arm, according to the affidavit.
Johvon Cruz flagged down a passing driver who rushed him to the hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery, the affidavit states.
It was not clear why Cruz was targeted.
Muhammad was jailed four days later. But when his arrest was announced, Police Department spokesman Lt. Kevin Fair mentioned only that Muhammad had allegedly ditched a gun after a hit-and-run, then was arrested when he returned to the scene.
Fair said Wednesday nothing was put out at the time due to “lack of information at the time of the incident.”

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